Parents' Guide to

A Thousand Pieces of You: Firebird, Book 1

By Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

Time-bending thriller has more romance than mystery.

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Kids say (10):

There's a lot to take in when reading this convoluted yet intriguing tale. There are the multiple universes to keep straight, along with flashbacks, corporate intrigue, and scientific explanations that are clearly fiction but reference schools of thought in physics and philosophy. Despite all of these elements, the mysteries in the plot are ultimately secondary to the primary concern of who Marguerite should love: the socially awkward but gorgeous and brilliant Paul or the charismatic but impetuous and intelligent Theo (never have two physics PhDs been described as so physically attractive; they might as well have been Chris Hemsworth and Chris Evans).

Insecure about her place as an artist in a family of hard scientists, Marguerite can't see herself as others, particularly the two handsome geniuses, do. It's too bad Marguerite's so full of doubt and needs the guys to validate her, because her original mission to expose her father's murderer is brave and daring. Author Claudia Gray handles the setting changes well, but the book lingers in the Tsarist Russia universe the longest, making some of the other settings seem less important by comparison. The book explores thought-provoking questions about fate, love, and consciousness, but some readers may gloss over all of that to focus, like Marguerite herself, on which boy (and which universe's version of that boy) is her meant-to-be.

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